Champions Trophy: Afridi confident of Pak bowlers firing against India

Karachi [Pakistan]: Former Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi has called on his side’s formidable bowling line-up to fire against their arch-rivals India in the upcoming Champions Trophy, beginning July 1 in England and Wales.

Although India are yet to announce their squad for the upcoming 50-over pinnacle tournament, the fans from both nations have marked their calendars for June 4 when the two arch-rivals take on each other in their group clash.

Like others, the former T20 skipper also admitted that he is anxiously waiting for the mouth-watering clash between two sides while adding that he is expecting a rousing performance from Pakistan’s part.

“We are now just a month away from the biggest cricket match of the year – the mouth-watering India-Pakistan face-off in the ICC Champions Trophy at Edgbaston. Like millions of fans around the world, I am also excited about the game and look forward to a highly entertaining match between the two traditional rivals, who have a rich cricketing history between them,” Afridi wrote for International Cricket Council’s (ICC) website.

Afridi also pointed out that the Champions Trophy is the only ICC event where Pakistan have had achieved success against India, the Express Tribune reported.

“The Champions Trophy is the only ICC event where Pakistan have had successes against India. We won the 2004 match at Edgbaston and then the 2009 match at Centurion. I hope the Men in Green deliver a rousing performance at Edgbaston to improve their record against India in global events,” Afridi said.

Although Afridi admitted that India would have an upper hand in the tournament as their batting powerhouse is brimming with talent, he believes the Pakistan bowling attack could play a pivotal role in challenging India.

“On the upcoming match in Edgbaston, I really hope that we see a classic Indo-Pak match.India have the strength as well as the psychological advantage based on their recent performances against us. India are a batting powerhouse brimming with talent, which is well supported by an aggressive and attacking bowling line-up,” he said.

“I feel Pakistan have a formidable bowling line-up that can challenge the Indian batting, especially in English conditions. As always, it would be a game of nerves and both teams would have to maintain their composure throughout,”Afridi added.

Despite not playing a full-fledged bilateral series against Pakistan since the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai, the arch-rivals have played each other a number of times in the ICC events, with the most recent coming at the 2016 ICC T20 World Cup. Although, Pakistan toured India for a short series in December 2012. (ANI)